Frank McCourt’s attempt to hire a company that would market a new the Dodgers’ media rights has led to Fox Sports’ Prime Ticket filing court papers trying to block it.
The Wall Street Journal reports (linked here) that McCourt has asked the bankruptcy court to allow him to hire the Blackstone Group, but that violates a deal Prime Ticket has with the team for exclusive negotiation rights through November, 2012, the Fox channel says. Prime Ticket has a TV rights deal with the Dodgers through the 2013 season.
Fox attorneys filed the paperwork Friday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware.
Fox has a 17-year, reported $2.7 billion extension on the table with McCourt and the Dodgers, and, according to the WSJ story, has already advanced to him all the fees for the 2011 TV rights. McCourt contends Major League Baseball is holding up approval of the media rights extension that could have prevented him from the bankruptcy filing about five weeks ago.
MLB commissioner Bud Selig rejected the deal because McCourt said that nearly $400 million would be spent to cover his current divorce settlement with former wife, Jamie.
Without a new media rights deal, McCourt will likely be forced to sell the team, or face MLB from taking possession of it and finding another owner.